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Can you play melody and chords on an English ?


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I play a bit of accordion and I find myself lost with the "push and pull" system of the anglo concertina.

I play just for my pleasure, and play solo, not in a group. Can I play some classical and jazz with an English concertina,

enriching the melody with some chords or walking bass ?

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I play a bit of accordion and I find myself lost with the "push and pull" system of the anglo concertina.

I play just for my pleasure, and play solo, not in a group. Can I play some classical and jazz with an English concertina,

enriching the melody with some chords or walking bass ?

 

Existence proof by example:

 

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1DwsN9iWV8&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

 

ocd

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I play a bit of accordion and I find myself lost with the "push and pull" system of the anglo concertina.

I play just for my pleasure, and play solo, not in a group. Can I play some classical and jazz with an English concertina,

enriching the melody with some chords or walking bass ?

 

 

Yes indeed you could. You should, however, also consider one of the Duet systems.

 

Geoff.

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I play a bit of accordion and I find myself lost with the "push and pull" system of the anglo concertina.

I play just for my pleasure, and play solo, not in a group. Can I play some classical and jazz with an English concertina,

enriching the melody with some chords or walking bass ?

 

Existence proof by example:

 

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1DwsN9iWV8&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

 

ocd

 

I question whether it should not be perfectly possible and practical to also satisfactorily transcribe the above three tunes for an Anglo of 30 or more buttons ?

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I question whether it should not be perfectly possible and practical to also satisfactorily transcribe the above three tunes for an Anglo of 30 or more buttons ?

Wrong question for this thread:

 

.... I find myself lost with the "push and pull" system of the anglo concertina.

..... Can I play some classical and jazz with an English concertina,......

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I question whether it should not be perfectly possible and practical to also satisfactorily transcribe the above three tunes for an Anglo of 30 or more buttons ?

Wrong question for this thread:

 

.... I find myself lost with the "push and pull" system of the anglo concertina.

..... Can I play some classical and jazz with an English concertina,......

 

I got the impression that Gerardo possessed an Anglo but whas struggling to understand the system. My question was therefore not necessarily the 'wrong question' but simply an indication of my intention that he might wish to persevere further.

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Yes it's true I had an Anglo but was struggling to understand the system.

I ordered from The Button Box a Concertina Connection "Jackie" for rent.

I thought that in this way I can explore the English Concertina without investing too much

money at the beginning. However the "Jackie" is a 30 button instrument, not a 48.

Would this be a limit for a beginner like me ? Thanks.

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In direct answer to your question "Can you play melody and chords on an English"; the answer is yes you can. However in over 40 years of meeting hundreds of English Concertina players I have met less than a dozen who did. Many of these, who I regret are now dead were Classical Music players and came from a generation who expected to work hard at music (or anything else for that matter). However one fine example of English Concertina playing with full chordal accompaniment is Rollo Woods, who learned this style from a celebrated Anglo Concertina player William Kimber of Headington. Yes it's possible but difficult.

You should look at an "Elise" at Button Box which is made by the same maker as the "Jackie" and costs about the same price. You will find that chords which use only a few simple patterns on the left hand side are in the same order as they occur on an Accordion Stradella bass,but "concertinered" into half the width.

Inventor.

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I play a bit of accordion and I find myself lost with the "push and pull" system of the anglo concertina.

I play just for my pleasure, and play solo, not in a group. Can I play some classical and jazz with an English concertina,

enriching the melody with some chords or walking bass ?

 

 

Gerardo: Especially if you are new to the concertina game, you owe it to yourself to check out the Hayden Duet. You can do almost anything on it once you get familiar with it, and many feel as I do that it is quite easily learned. It is made for playing solo being self accompanying or complementing, and lends itself to learning the delights of chordal and counterpoint harmony. Last, but far from least, is that you can play in 6-8 (depending on instrument size) different major keys (plus their attendant minors) with virtually equal facility! (Does any other instrument exist on which you can do that?) What more could one ask for! See adjacent comments of "Inventor" who created this marvel.

Edited by Frankevich
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I play a bit of accordion and I find myself lost with the "push and pull" system of the anglo concertina.

I play just for my pleasure, and play solo, not in a group. Can I play some classical and jazz with an English concertina,

enriching the melody with some chords or walking bass ?

 

 

Gerardo: Especially if you are new to the concertina game, you owe it to yourself to check out the Hayden Duet. You can do almost anything on it once you get familiar with it, and many feel as I do that it is quite easily learned. It is made for playing solo being self accompanying or complementing, and lends itself to learning the delights of chordal and counterpoint harmony. Last, but far from least, is that you can play in 6-8 (depending on instrument size) different major keys (plus their attendant minors) with virtually equal facility! (Does any other instrument exist on which you can do that?) What more could one ask for! See adjacent comments of "Inventor" who created this marvel.

Haydens may be 'quite easily learned' but no other duet system requires serious discussion of whether tuning up a Stagi or buying an Elise are better options. What an awful corner to be painted into. I'm not sure 'quite easly learned' is always the best reason for taking up an instrument anyway.

 

Try a duet Geraldo, yes. I came to duet concertinas from piano accordion (and quickly sold the accordion). But ignore the endless drooling of the Concertina.net Hayden devotees because there is nowhere to go to after the very limited range and down-to-a-price beginners instruments except at great expense, almost certainly brand new. Look up Maccan (my choice, and definitely the right one for me) or, if you must, Crane.

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Perhaps, as an English player, I'm just overly sensitive, but it seems that for the last year or so every question about the English concertina has been met with a barrage of "switch to something else" responses. In this thread there are 2 answers for the actual question, 1 "switch to Anglo" and 4 "switch to duet" responses.

 

While I appreciate that people are enthusiastic about their own personal choices of instrument, the constant denigration of my personal choice is starting to become tiresome.

 

To the original poster, yes, the English is capable of doing what it sounds like you want to do with it. Having 30 buttons does impose limitations but larger instruments are easily available if those limitations become too bothersome. Best of luck should you go with the English.

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Perhaps, as an English player, I'm just overly sensitive, but it seems that for the last year or so every question about the English concertina has been met with a barrage of "switch to something else" responses. In this thread there are 2 answers for the actual question, 1 "switch to Anglo" and 4 "switch to duet" responses.

 

While I appreciate that people are enthusiastic about their own personal choices of instrument, the constant denigration of my personal choice is starting to become tiresome.

 

To the original poster, yes, the English is capable of doing what it sounds like you want to do with it. Having 30 buttons does impose limitations but larger instruments are easily available if those limitations become too bothersome. Best of luck should you go with the English.

 

A good point well made. The choice of concertina is about what suits you. I chose Anglo because it makes sense to me, but I appreciate that others find the English more intuitive. The OP seems to be taking a very sensible approach of trying out different systems to find which suits him best.

 

Returning to the original question

 

There is an old man who comes to a folk club that I go to regularly who plays an English Concertina in the kind of style the OP seems to be asking about. He doesn't exactly play melody and chords but sings and plays a very rhythmic chordal accompaniment which includes hints of the melody within it.

 

So the answer to the original question would appear to be a very definite Yes.

 

Geoff

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Perhaps, as an English player, I'm just overly sensitive, but it seems that for the last year or so every question about the English concertina has been met with a barrage of "switch to something else" responses. In this thread there are 2 answers for the actual question, 1 "switch to Anglo" and 4 "switch to duet" responses.

 

While I appreciate that people are enthusiastic about their own personal choices of instrument, the constant denigration of my personal choice is starting to become tiresome.

 

To the original poster, yes, the English is capable of doing what it sounds like you want to do with it. Having 30 buttons does impose limitations but larger instruments are easily available if those limitations become too bothersome. Best of luck should you go with the English.

Fair point. Sorry; got sucked in is my excuse...

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I play a bit of accordion and I find myself lost with the "push and pull" system of the anglo concertina.

I play just for my pleasure, and play solo, not in a group. Can I play some classical and jazz with an English concertina,

enriching the melody with some chords or walking bass ?

 

 

Gerardo: Especially if you are new to the concertina game, you owe it to yourself to check out the Hayden Duet. You can do almost anything on it once you get familiar with it, and many feel as I do that it is quite easily learned. It is made for playing solo being self accompanying or complementing, and lends itself to learning the delights of chordal and counterpoint harmony. Last, but far from least, is that you can play in 6-8 (depending on instrument size) different major keys (plus their attendant minors) with virtually equal facility! (Does any other instrument exist on which you can do that?) What more could one ask for! See adjacent comments of "Inventor" who created this marvel.

Haydens may be 'quite easily learned' but no other duet system requires serious discussion of whether tuning up a Stagi or buying an Elise are better options. What an awful corner to be painted into. I'm not sure 'quite easly learned' is always the best reason for taking up an instrument anyway.

 

Try a duet Geraldo, yes. I came to duet concertinas from piano accordion (and quickly sold the accordion). But ignore the endless drooling of the Concertina.net Hayden devotees because there is nowhere to go to after the very limited range and down-to-a-price beginners instruments except at great expense, almost certainly brand new. Look up Maccan (my choice, and definitely the right one for me) or, if you must, Crane.

 

 

I agree that "quite easily learned" is not the paramount reason to take up any instrument. However, if one likes the other features or advantages, it "sure don't hurt."

 

Yes, it's true that I am a Hayden "devotee" and, although on the senior side of life, don't drool that much! and certainly not "endlessly". As for "nowwhere to go" for Haydenistas after lower priced beginners' instruments, the Button Box is shortly coming out with a mid range (priced) Hayden, as is Wim Wakker. So, Dirge, we may just convert you to a Hayden yet; as long as you promise: "no drooling"!

 

By the way, has anyone priced a brand new Maccann or Crane lately?

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Gerardo,

In reply to your original question regarding jazz, classical, and polyphonic music in general -

Yes ... in a fashion.

Such can also be accomplished on an Anglo system in limited fashion - which your are finding less than satisfactory, it seems.

... And one can also plow a field with a Range Rover if one chooses;

But it is not likely the most efficient way to do so.

Best wishes for success however you proceed.

Dan

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I play a bit of accordion and I find myself lost with the "push and pull" system of the anglo concertina.

I play just for my pleasure, and play solo, not in a group. Can I play some classical and jazz with an English concertina,

enriching the melody with some chords or walking bass ?

Given that you haven't invested much time or money in the ENglish, and you want to accopany yourself with chords and bass (and countermelodies, etc.), you really should look at a Duet, which is designed to do those things.

 

I play a Hayden. Don;t let people put it down becuse it's easy to learn" -- it is very easy to get started on, wiht instant payback, but like any instrument it takes lots of hard work to unlock its full potential (beyond oom=pah bss).

 

As Frankevich pointed out, the upgrade path for Hayden is improving mightily. Of course there are plenty of vintage Maccanns and Crane/Triumphs around -- no need for new one.

 

FWIW, every type of concertina has its strong and weak points musically, and also perrsonally (wheher one can get one's head around an Anglo or an EC).

 

But if you play PA already, you'll love the Hayden's left hand.

--mike k.

Edited by ragtimer
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